A new notary law will begin on October 26, 2017. The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) requires anyone who wants to become a notary or renew a notary public commission to complete an education course.

First Time Notaries

First-time notaries will have to complete a basic education course and pass an exam. The three-hour basic education course can be completed online or by attending a live lecture. Once you complete the course, you will have six months from the date that you received your course completion certificate to submit your application to the Department of State.

When submitting your application, you must include:

Course Completion Certificate
Non-refundable application fee of $42

If your application is approved, you will receive an email permitting you to take the Pennsylvania Notary Exam.


Passing The Notary Exam

The Pennsylvania Notary Exam is administered by Pearson, one of the largest test proctors in the United States.

To take the exam, you will have to:
Pay an exam fee of $65
Schedule to take the test at a Pearson location

The exam is comprised of 30 multiple-choice questions. Five out of the 30 questions are pre-test questions that will not impact your score. You will have 60 minutes to answer questions on the following subjects:

When you complete the exam, you will not know the number of correct or incorrect questions that you answered. The test results are calculated using a scaled scoring system. Test results can range from 0 – 100. A score of 75 or higher will indicate that you passed the exam and your results will be submitted to the state. After receiving your results, the state will process your notary public appointment.

If you fail the exam, you can retake it as many times as you need to for up to six months. Each time you take the exam, you will have to pay a $65 exam fee.

Download Pearson’s PA Notary Exam booklet here:

Download (PDF, 764KB)

Renewing Notaries

If you are already a commissioned notary public in Pennsylvania, you will NOT have to take an exam. When it is time to renew your commission you will have to complete a mandatory three hour continuing education course. However, if you let your commission lapse by just one day, you will have to take a basic education course and pass an exam.

Notary Stamp and Journal

When it is time to you renew your notary public commission, you will have to buy a stamp previously referred to as a notary seal. The redesigned notary stamp removes a notary’s municipality and includes the words “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” at the top.You will also have to purchase a notary journal which was previously referred to as a register. 

To learn more download the notice issued by the Department of State.

Download (PDF, 381KB)